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Head of School
Ramallah Friends School (Palestine Authority)
Oct 26, 20
Jan 1, 21
Head of School
Ramallah Friends School
Friends United Meeting is accepting applications for the position of Head of Ramallah Friends School (RFS), located in Ramallah, Palestine. This is a full-time long-term field staff position within the Global Ministries Department of Friends United Meeting. The Head of School is the senior member of the RFS staff, responsible for ensuring FUM’s faithful stewardship as owners of the school and shepherding its mission of providing a distinctively Friends education to Palestinian boys and girls since 1869. The Head of School reports to the General Secretary of Friends United Meeting, and works in a mutually-accountable relationship with the Board of Trustees of the School.
Strong candidates will have the following qualifications:
- A growing Christian Quaker faith
- Extensive leadership experience, preferably within an educational institution and/or a large complex organization
- Cross-cultural competence
- Excellent written and verbal communication
- Knowledge of the International Baccalaureate
The Head of School will:
- Lead a large and diverse staff team, cultivating shared vision and establishing a workplace culture consistent with Friends testimonies.
- Inspire students at all grade levels to strive for intellectual, physical, social and emotional growth.
- Give direct supervision to the senior members of the school administration and facilitate their shared leadership of the school on a day-to-day basis.
- Cultivate an engaged and responsible Board of Trustees, and work closely with the Board in all matters of policy and strategic direction.
- Nurture fruitful partnerships with all school stakeholders, including parents, alumni, donors, government and civil society.
- Ensure sound business and financial management, adequate budgets, and proper fiscal controls.
- Instill excellence in teaching and learning through continuous improvement, professional development, creativity and innovation.
- Develop relationships between the school and the membership of Friends United Meeting and the wider Quaker community, including traveling and speaking among Friends.
- Represent FUM and FUM-Palestine within the Palestinian context, including managing FUM’s assets and activities beyond the scope of the school.
As a member of the FUM field staff, the Head of School will work with the Global Ministries team to develop prayer and financial support sufficient to sustain the ministry.
Applications deadline is 1 January 2021, or until the position is filled. For more information and to submit a resume and cover letter, contact:
Kelly Kellum, General Secretary
Friends United Meeting
101 Quaker Hill Drive
Richmond IN 47374 USA
+1 765 962 7573
Friends United Meeting commits itself to energize and equip Friends through the power of the Holy Spirit to gather people into fellowships where Jesus Christ is known, loved and obeyed as Teacher and Lord.
About Ramallah Friends School
In 1869, when Miriam, a fifteen year old village girl in Ramallah, Palestine, asked Sybil and Eli Jones, visiting American Quaker missionaries, to hire her as a teacher and help her educate neighborhood girls, little did she know that by doing so, she was changing the lives of thousands of girls and boys for future generations.
Today, with over 1450 students (pre-K – 12th grade) studying on two campuses, Ramallah Friends School maintains itself as an educational leader by providing a distinctive learning environment to a diverse population of children, based on Quaker values of equality, peace and service. RFS has become a landmark in Palestine and particularly within the Ramallah community, with many attributing the culturally vibrant, intellectually rich and progressive community – at least partly – to the presence of the school. Bearing cultural sensitivity in mind, the school always pioneered new programs and hence became the model school for private and public schools in the region. From starting the first school for girls in the mid-19th century, to developing a 21st century educational program based on collaborative and student-centered approaches, the school continues to revitalize its program by emphasizing the professional development of its staff.
The Upper Campus is an International Baccalaureate® (IB) World School offering the Middle Years Programme (MYP) and Diploma Programme (DP) to all its students and is the only such school in Palestine. The Lower Campus is a Primary Years Programme (PYP) School.
FRIENDS SCHOOL MISSION
The foundation of a Quaker education is the understanding that every person’s life can be dedicated to the principles of nonviolence, service and equality. We seek to promote a constant search for God in all human situations, and to cultivate ethical, moral and spiritual values. The school is a member of the Friends Council on Education (http://friendscouncil.org/) and collaborates actively with Friends schools in many countries.
The Ramallah Friends School is committed to:
- Excellence in education, which demands high academic standards and a willingness to experiment with new methodology and curricula.
- Developing the whole person, spiritually, physically, mentally, and socially, regardless of varying abilities, by fostering integrity, simplicity, honesty, cooperation and compassion.
- Helping all students to recognize their responsibility to society as caring members of their community and as responsible members of the global family.
- Equality, regardless of ability, gender, creed, culture, color or social status.
Ramallah Friends School is governed by a local Board of Trustees who are appointed by the school’s owner, Friends United Meeting of Richmond, Indiana, USA. The local Board of Trustees include current and former parents, alumni, community leaders and representatives of the school’s administration and staff. A senior management team led by the Head of School meets regularly to decide on day-to-day operational matters.
The school boasts two separate wooded campuses (approximately one mile apart) located in the municipalities of Ramallah and El-Bireh, both within the urban center of Ramallah. The facilities combine the old and the new with buildings dating back to the late 19th century and numerous state-of-the-art facilities that demonstrate the RFS commitment for innovation and contemporary educational standards. A new Middle School building (designed by renowned Fielding Nair International) was completed in 2016. Main upgrades during the past decade include a new Kindergarten building, assembly hall and sports fields at the Lower Campus and a new classroom building, artificial turf fields, upgraded science, indoor gymnasium, renovated technology and art labs at the Upper Campus. The campus also includes a botanical garden open to the community.
THE ACADEMIC PROGRAM – an IB World School
Ramallah Friends School is accredited by the Palestinian Ministry of Education. The Upper and Lower Campuses are also authorized by the International Baccalaureate Organization as an IB World School offering the IB Diploma, Middle Years and Primary Years Programmes.
The bilingual curriculum focuses on the cultivation of each student’s critical thinking skills through long-established effective classroom experiences as well as through experiential, hands-on learning and exposure to new and novel methodology. The Lower Campus follows the IB Primary Years Program in conjunction with the Ministry of Education Curriculum and enhances it through a multitude of creative means.
Teachers have been challenged to re-think their lessons plans and assessment methodologies in a way that enhances their students’ understanding rather than the rote learning which has been traditionally entrenched in the culture. Great and courageous strides have been accomplished with both teachers and parents raving about the results.
In addition to strong academics, the curriculum stresses proficiency in music and art, with plans to further enhance these efforts in the future. As a Friends School, the program strives to offer students a broad curriculum that stresses ethics, stewardship and nonviolent conflict resolution. Each student, starting in grade one, is required to participate in community service projects that demonstrate the benefits of social responsibility while presenting students with hands-on learning opportunities. Our K-10th grade ethics curriculum in line with Quaker testimonies, instills a sense of morals while shaping critical, reflective thinking and problem-solving skills.
The language of instruction at the Lower Campus is predominantly Arabic with English heavily taught since Kindergarten. English is also the language of instruction for some mathematics, science and ethics classes. At the Upper Campus, nearly all subjects are taught in English in preparation for the International Baccalaureate Diploma (IBDP) courses. By graduation, students master both the Arabic and English languages.
Special programs include the Learning Support initiative, which was established in 1995. In line with our Quaker value of equality, the program serves children at both schools who are integrated into the mainstream classrooms. They include students with variable special needs and learning difficulties, including autistic spectrum, Down syndrome, Williams Syndrome, LDs and physical challenges such as Cerebral Palsy, among others. This program is the only one of its kind in Palestine and also serves as a model for other schools in the region.
We strive to have a student body representative of Palestinian Society by accepting applicants from diverse social, religious, and economic backgrounds. The vast majority of the student body is Palestinian and live in the Ramallah area. With the assistance of the college counseling program, nearly all graduates (95%) enter leading North American (including several Ivy Leagues), Middle Eastern, and European universities, many receiving scholarships or financial aid packages. RFS enrolls over 1450 students.
We currently employ over 150 highly-qualified faculty members, mostly from the local community with 15% coming from abroad (mainly USA). A number of Department Heads on both campuses are responsible for the development of the curricula and encouraging teachers to use innovative teaching methods. Professional development programs are extensive; DP, MYP & PYP teachers are required to attend official IB training conferences. Our teacher to student ratio is 9:1.
Ramallah is a culturally vibrant, historically rich, and safe city. Concerts, art exhibits, hiking clubs, and excellent restaurants are among many choices for entertainment and intellectual fulfillment in the city. Hundreds of international NGOs, Country Representative Offices, UN agencies operate out of Ramallah, making it a cosmopolitan hub. Ramallah Friends Meeting meets for worship every Sunday in the historic meetinghouse in the city center, gathering Palestinian Friends and visiting Quakers from around the world. Jerusalem is 16 kilometers (10 miles) south and the Mediterranean Sea a 45-minute drive.